Sometimes things have a way of coming together. In January I came across an article about an artist I’d been unaware of until that point. Although Lola Kirke had made one album and appeared in some successful movies and TV project her music had not reached us at the AC.
There were two things I noticed however. Firstly she was signed to Jack White’s Third Man label – always a quality trade mark – and secondly her sound was neither typically country or straight ahead Americana. Fizzing in and around the song arrangements were some 80’s synths and vocal reverbs that immediately reminded me more of a classic era of classic women country singers. So it was that when we invited Lola to join us for an hour’s special this week the first song she requested we play was Jo Dee Messina’s ‘Heads Carolina, Tails California ‘ a classic from 1996.
In fact every song you hear in the second hour of this week’s show will have a connection to Lola. She’ll be in session player with her travelling companion, Ellen Angelico playing songs from that excellent album we first heard about at the start of the year, Lady For Sale, as well as picking classic country songs that have influenced her. Those choices take us through the decades as well as including some contemporary country. What is interesting about Lola’s choices and her own music is how easily country and pop music merge together to make memorable records. If you have not yet discovered Lady For Sale, you may be lured in by her current live EP which also celebrates an original Christmas song. It’s my pleasure to declare the Christmas Country season open and expect more rootsy seasonal offerings over the Advent season.
Lola’s own back story is fascinating. From musical roots (her father is Free/Bad Company’s Simon Kirke) and, although holding a UK passport, she grew up in New York. As you can probably imagine she’s now a resident of Nashville and you can hear how she made that journey in some detail on this week’s show. If you are not listening live this Tuesday evening it may well be that you are heading over to the Southside of Glasgow to catch First Aid Kit as they start their UK tour. if so, get there early as Lola and her band will be opening the show.
We’ll play the excellent title track to the new First Aid Kit album this week as well as bringing you some new names. Listen out for M Lockwood Porter and Melissa Carter. We’ll also have music from old friends including Darden Smith, Caitlin Rose and Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives. As ever we’ll be love on BBC Radio Scotland from five past eight this Tuesday evening and available on BBC Sounds at a time and place of your choosing. Join me if you can.
p.s. If you do want to get in touch with me I won’t be on social media channels for the foreseeable future so feedback is probably easier via the blog or directly firstname.lastname@example.org.